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AIRCRAFT CLOCKS | SOCIETATEA DE EXPLORARI TEHNICE (S.E.T.), BUCURESTI (1923-1946) – engl. THE COMPANY FOR TECHNICAL EXPLORING

 

logo SET Bucuresti

SET Bucuresti represents in fact the aspiration, the endeavor, the effort and the perseverance of an important name in Romanian aviation.

The engineer Grigore Zamfirescu has founded the company in 1924.
He was a professional officer in WW1 and after the war he graduated “Scoala de Drumuri si Poduri” - engl. The School for Roads and Bridges from Bucharest. He continued his studies at Paris, obtaining in 1922 his engineer diploma (aviation and automobile).


Not far from Obor Market in 1923 he set the base for the “Societatea de Explorari Tehnice (S.E.T.)” – engl. The Company for Technical Exploring, that started its functioning since 1924.
SET has produced in its more than 20 years of activity aircrafts for army, aeronautics clubs and private persons. It was a total of 794 aircrafts, a part under its own project, the others under license.
Grigore Zamfirescu has died in a stupid accident in 1943, on Baneasa airport.
The factory continued for around 3 years, until 1946 when in the new politic conjuncture it was nationalized, being divided in several factories that continued with other fields of activity (pumps, devices for measurement and control).

 

PRODUCED AIRCRAFTS – S.E.T. BUCHAREST | 1923-1946 (partial)

 

Aircraft type | Manufacturing year | Aircraft no. | Aircraft clock type

- - - - - - - - - -

1. Proto SET-2 | 1927 | 2 | unavailable information

2. SET-3 | 1929 | 12 | unavailable information

3. SET-31 | 1930 | 50 | unavailable information

4. SET-7 | 1930 | 60 | unavailable information

5. SET-4 | 1931 | 20 | unavailable information

6. SET-41 | 1932 | 10 | unavailable information

7. SET-10 serie | 1933 | 20 | unavailable information

8. SET-7K | 1934 – 1935 | 60 | 2 x Longines type 6036

9. SET-4H | 1937 | 8 | “a Longines aircraft clock”

10. SET-7Kb | 1939 | 30 | 2 x Longines type 6036

11. SET-7Kd | 1939 | 30 | 2 x Longines type 6036

12. SET F10G | 1939 | 80 + 305 IAR/ICAR) | initially it was not meant to have a clock on the board (account 07979/26.03.1937); after 1937, they were equipped with 2 x Longines 6550;

13. SET IAR-27 | 1939 | 80 | unavailable information

14. SET FN-305 | 1940 | 210 + 30 IAR | “1 Longines clock type 4330”

15. SET IAR-39 | 1942 | 148 + 96 IAR | “Longines clock type 6036” (ref. IAR)
- - - - - - - - - -

 (extract from: Dan ANTONIU, George CICOS - “Romanian Aeronautical Constructions”, pag.238-253 )


NOTE: this presentation will be completed as new information will be found in the archives or in papers about the aviation history.


...

SET-7k

Biplane that had two seats: for surveillance and contact. There were produced a number of 60 aircrafts during 1934-1935.

The technical job specification that was attached to the contract specifies at the chapter “Board instruments”pct. g/ “2 clocks with elastic suspension, luminous Longines type 6036” (see scans of contract SET-7K [1] and [2])

 

SET-4H

Biplane with two seats for training, from which were ordered 8 aircrafts through the contract made with the “Subsecretariatul de Stat al Aerului (M.A.M)” – engl. State Sub-Secretary of Air, nr. 128/V/8.May.1926 (see [3] and [4]).

This contract foreseen in Annex III – The technical job specification, pag. 16, “Board instruments” section: 

“…The aircrafts will be equipped by SET with the followings …

The front station:

…A Longines aircraft clock.”

SET-7kd (the variant in military equipment of SET-7kb)

Derived from SET-7k, also this model is from “the surveillance aircraft category” (ref. Contract 13650 from 20.August.1937) and contact, a biplane with two seats, with metallic fuselage. There were made a number of 30 aircrafts in 1939.
 

The aircraft clock that equipped this aircraft (one for pilot and one for the observatory) is Longines type 6036 as mentioned in the in the contract 13650 (attached scans [5] and [6]), contract through which during November-December 1938 were delivered the first 10 aircrafts with the serial numbers: 151-160.

The list of Longines type 6036 clocks that were mounted at their board includes the following serial movements:

- - - - - - - - -

aircraft no.151 | 2 x Longines | series: 5069865 - 5069866*)
aircraft no.152 | 2 x Longines | series: 5069867 - 5069868
aircraft no.153 | 2 x Longines | series: 5069869 - 5069870
aircraft no.154 | 2 x Longines | series: 5069871 - 5069872
aircraft no.155 | 2 x Longines | series: 5069873 - 5069874
aircraft no.156 | 2 x Longines | series: 5069875 - 5069876
aircraft no.157 | 2 x Longines | series: 5395516 - 5395517
aircraft no.158 | 2 x Longines | series: 5412225 - 5412226
aircraft no.159 | 2 x Longines | series: 5412227 - 5412228
aircraft no.160 | 2 x Longines | series: 5412229 - 5412230
 

- - - - - - - - -

(According to the records of inventory kept in the Military Archives from Pitesti – File 2917 | M.A.M. Fund
*) For the SET-7Kd aircraft no. 151 there is a scan attached of the inventory record [7])
 


All the aircraft clocks with the movement series cal. 19.71N presented above were delivered to Romania, to the Longines agent - Max Weissbluth, on 8.March.1938!


SET F-10G

 

The aircraft has double seats for training and contact.

It was produced (under Fleet American license) by all the 3 Romanian important factories during WW2.
385 aircrafts were made: 95 at IAR Brasov, 210 at ICAR Bucharest, respectively 80 at SET Bucharest.

As I mentioned in the IAR presentation for the Fleet-10G aircrafts, the record 07979/26.03.1937 was specifying that “due to economy reasons, at Fleet Standard aircrafts, the Aeronautic Constructions Department, did not foreseen any clock”.

This happened only for the aircrafts produced at IAR Brasov, for the other 290, the board being equipped with 2 clocks (one for each station) Longines type 6550.

Consequently on 27.April.1937, there was made the “Caet de Sarcini pentru aprovizionarea Aeronauticei cu ceasornice de bord pentru avioanele de scoala Longines tip 6550” (see attached scan – [8]) – engl. Job specifications for supplying Aeronautics with aircraft clocks for Longines type 6550 training aircrafts. This job specification becomes part of [9], the contract 12718/19.August.1937 through which are ordered to Max Weissblueth 50 pcs. of Longines type 6550 clocks that will explicitly equip in documents the SET aircrafts.

Interesting is that this first acquisition of Longines type 6550 was made after analyzing the offers [10] and [11] of several producers as follows:

- the Schmidt no.680 clock: “more expensive and it does not have any elastic suspension”;

- Askania clock: “inferior to the Longines clock and… more expensive”;

- Leroy clock (Office General de l’Air): “more expensive than Longines”;

- Ulisse Nardin clock: “…more expensivethan Longines and with unsatisfactory suspension”;

- Paul Garnier clock: “…it does not specify if it has elastic suspension…and is more expensive than Longines”;

- Omega clock: “ … 8 days, at the same price as the Longines clocks” without being able to specify the term until providing an elastic suspension “copied after the Longines type”.

So, at the end of this document was concluded:

“Consequently to those presented above and having in mind that this Department desires also the standardization of devices on board, because the Longines clock type 6550 can be mounted also instead of 6036 type, having the same dimensions between the bolts and the same elastic suspension, but only in 4 points. (The Longines clock type 6036 equips now most of the aircrafts: PZL-11F, SET-7Kb, PZL-24a, IAR-37. – Are now replaced at POTEZ 54 aircrafts and are foreseen at Savoia 79 B aircrafts).-

The Aeronautic Constructions Department, proposes and kindly ask you to approve the acquiring of 50 Longines clocks type 6550 to equip the Fleet aircrafts with no visibility.-“.

SET FN-305

 

The production in Romania of this aircraft was made based on the license purchased by the Romanian State in 1939 from the Italian producer Fratelli Nardi. The aircraft was meant for training the pilots from the fighter aviation and was initially produced at IAR Brasov (30 aircrafts) after which, considering the requests IAR-80 production at Brasov, its production was moved to SET Bucharest where were manufactured other 210 aircrafts.

The contract 313 from 23.May.1939 [12] specifies the aircraft clock used at this aircraft – Longines type 4330 [13]. In the right column [14] is presented the image of this clock - Longines cl. 4330 found in the Military Archives from Pitesti.

Longines type 4330
in photo: aircraft board SET-IAR FN-305 / instructor drawing board | aircraft clock Longines type 4330 is located on the top row, the last instrument from the right.

All the Longines clocks mentioned above were equipped cal. 19.71N movement for which you can find a detailed presentation - here !

Thanks to Dan ANTONIU for the support given in making this presentation.
The aircraft images, SET logos and the portrayal of Grigore Zamfirescu were extracted from -
 Dan ANTONIU, George CICOS - “Romanian Aeronautical Constructions”.
The presented documents were found in the S.S.A. and M.A.M. funds of the Military Archives - Pitesti.
Thanks to the team from the Reading Room of the Military Archives for the offered support.
 







logo SET Bucuresti | ’20-’30
logo SET Bucuresti | ’20-’30

plane SET-31 | 1930 (double control)
plane SET-31 | 1930 (double control)

plane SET-41 | 1932
plane SET-41 | 1932

plane SET-7K | 1934
plane SET-7K | 1934

plane SET-4H | 1937
plane SET-4H | 1937

training plane SET F-10G | 1939
training plane SET F-10G | 1939

plane SET FN-305 | 1940
plane SET FN-305 | 1940

plane SET IAR-39 | 1942
plane SET IAR-39 | 1942

Tehnical Note | SET-31 / 4 / 41
Tehnical Note | SET-31 / 4 / 41

Technical Note | SET-31 / 4 / 41 | Chapter 6.1
Technical Note | SET-31 / 4 / 41 | Chapter 6.1

[1] contract SET-7K | 1934
[1] contract SET-7K | 1934

[2] contract SET-7k | 1934
[2] contract SET-7k | 1934

[3] contract nr. 128 SET-4H | 1926
[3] contract nr. 128 SET-4H | 1926

[4] contract nr. 128 SET-4H | 1926
[4] contract nr. 128 SET-4H | 1926

[5] contract SET-7kd | 1937
[5] contract SET-7kd | 1937

[6] contract SET-7kd | 1937
[6] contract SET-7kd | 1937

[7] inventar SET-7kd nr.151|1938
[7] inventar SET-7kd nr.151|1938

[8] caiet sarcini Longines 6550
[8] caiet sarcini Longines 6550

[9] contract Longines 6550
[9] contract Longines 6550

[10] referat Longines 6550
[10] referat Longines 6550

[11] referat Longines 6550
[11] referat Longines 6550

[12] contract SET FN-305
[12] contract SET FN-305

[13] contract SET FN-305
[13] contract SET FN-305

[14] Longines type 4330
[14] Longines type 4330






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